I was disappointed by your portrayal of the CUT in last week’s issue of the Carletonian. Yes, I happen to live with three members of the CUT senior class, so some may say that I’m a little biased in their favor, but I would like to point out a few specific issues I think any student athlete would have with your article.
First of all, I would like to point out that when you spend hours together each week, going to practices, tournaments, and team dinners, you’re bound to get a little closer. Sometimes you even become friends, and decide you want to live together. This is evidenced each year by other varsity team members who frequently room together or get off campus houses together. This is not a new phenomenon and does not in any way mean that my housemates or other athletes are less committed to being well-rounded individuals, or less involved at this school.
Secondly, when you dedicate yourself to any team, you will sacrifice things, including time with other friends. In my time at Carleton I have lived with varsity soccer, tennis, and swim team members, and I’m lucky to get a dinner date with them while they’re in season, even though they are some of my best friends. It’s a commitment, and they’re busy, and I understand that. Why should CUT be called out and treated differently from any other athletic group on campus? Can you imagine someone writing this article about soccer or football or any other Carleton team? It’s not as though they are an unfairly exclusive club, leaving people out just to be mean. They are a team with a roster. If you want to be a part of that team, I suggest you head out to the bald spot with the rest of the “slackers” and start practicing.
Specific teams aside, it’s really not difficult to become a member of the frisbee community at Carleton. My sophomore year, I noticed a lot of my friends were playing frisbee and loving it, so I decided to join NOVA and learn how to play myself. The last two years playing with NOVA and the Hot Karls (we often practice together) have been a fun, rewarding experience. I have become closer to a lot of new people, learned how to play frisbee, and partied with all sorts of teams around campus. One really great part of these two teams is that there are no tryouts and no official commitments, so you can practice, compete, and socialize when you want, making the frisbee community open and inclusive for anyone who is interested.
Finally, to say any campus team is all about drinking is just unfair. Some teams may develop more of a reputation than others, but all students involved are first and foremost athletes, brought together by the love of a sport. Your article’s halfhearted list of CUT’s impressive national successes was far overshadowed by your description of them as a “drinking collective” on the “fringes of campus culture.” In fact, to profile any hardworking team as a bunch of partying frat bros may endanger their very existence, as it perpetuates an unfair stereotype and may cause the administration to question the legitimacy of their presence on campus. I know this has already been an issue for a few club teams on campus this term. I urge the Carletonian to please be more careful of their treatment of all student groups in the future.
As the official student newspaper you have a responsibility to portray our campus in an accurate and fair manner to alums, parents, and faculty. We may not have thousands of crazed fans or nationally famous traditions, but we do have students that need our respect and support, no matter the extracurriculars in which they choose to participate.
Maddie Halloran ‘14